Mehki Adams is an undergraduate at UMBC who explores mediums in visual art to inspire self-expression and collective engagement. Photo by Talyiah Dickens.
“Growing up I always wanted to be an artist.”
Most of us, if not all, have heard or said these same words at some point in our lives. But for the visual artist, Mehki Adams, this phrase has become a lifestyle.
The Prince George’s county native continues to develop an eye for capturing and creating multimedia art, particularly in videography. Whether he is sketching designs on a notepad or editing film for an installation, there are few territories he is unwilling to venture. At sixteen, his first art show serves as the stepping stone for more down the line. After a taste of this interactive experience, his quest for artistic freedom had only begun.
For Adams, trips to and from New York have become routine. Recently, Adams’s artwork has been featured at The National Black Theatre in Harlem. His visuals offer an introspective viewpoint on the demonized perception of black bodies. “I want to normalize black art that isn’t based on struggle,” Adams said. “There is so much beautiful work, literature, poetry and artwork that is often overlooked.” In a piece entitled, “Black Boy Joy,” Adams morphs colors and shapes to foreground the friendship between two black boys.
Adams has also taken on the role of video director for the play “Trilogy” at Nuyorican Poets Café. Here, Adams covered headshots, flyers and an intriguing two-part short film. To portray the creation of religion, Adams compiled a series of striking images that eluded to the concept of spirituality. In juxtaposition to his abstract take on the premise of the play, he adds a short documentary that highlights the opinions of cast members. The actors share their contrasting beliefs that Adams then frames in a cohesive manner. Simply put, a CREATIIION worth a standing ovation.
CREATIIION radio echoes over the uncensored web broadcast known as WMBC. Every Wednesday at 1pm (EST) listeners tune into a playlist filled with sounds across all genres. By devising a platform to share influential artists such as Twin Shadow and Blood Orange, it is an hour guaranteed to affect your entire body.
Adams’s appreciation for music was shaped at an early age by his family. “My mom was a cool cat, she definitely helped me find my style. I’m thankful for the love my family has shown me, it allowed me to be myself.” Influenced by U.K. punk culture, his style has reintroduced what it means to take risks in fashion.
Down the road awaits a possible tattoo apprenticeship, mural projects and much more for this versatile visionary. “When I die, my art will be the mark I leave on the world. And I really want to make a statement,” Adams said. “I really want to say something, you know?”